Zoom h-5-stillHere is an initial audio test of the Zoom H-5 digital audio recorder using the standard X/Y microphone module, an external (XLR) lavaliere microphone, and the optional MSH-6 Mid Side Stereo and XYH-6 microphone modules.

Example #1: 

Mic: Standard X/Y microphone module

Position: Directly at source

Settings: 24/96 .wav


 

Example #2:

Zoom h-5-xlr

Mic: External lavalier microphone (Audio Technica Pro 70), with phantom power

Position: Clipped to shirt

Settings: 24/96 .wav


Example #3Zoom h-5-ms-still

Mic: Optional MSH-6 (Mid Side Stereo) Module

Position: Directly at source

Settings: 24/96 .wav

 

 


Example #4

Zoom h-5-h6

Mic: Optional XYH-6 set at 120 degrees

Position: Directly at source

Settings: 24/96 .wav

 


 Example #5

Zoom h-5-xlr

Mic: Audio Technica AT 831 (Lavalier)

Position: Clipped to shirt

Settings: 24/96 .wav

 


 

Conclusions:

As expected in an under-$300 recorder, use of the microphone modules (supplied and optional) sounded better at close range when compared to the XLR external microphone inputs.  For good field recording, I usually recommend using an external microphone.  However, with these lower end recorders (even the good ones) the external microphone preamps tend to not perform as well as the onboard mic preamps.  At hotter levels, I found the external microphone more prone to overwhelming the preamp adding subtle distortion to the signal, even at reasonable recording levels.   When I lowered the recording levels a bit while using the external microphones  (compared to using the onboard microphone modules) I was able to eliminate the subtle distortion but had to add the extra step of adding gain after then fact using audio editing software.  With the onboard microphone modules I was able to record a much better sounding signal.  Again, not surprising for the under $300 range recorders.

All criticism aside, I think that each example sounds pretty good for an under-$300 recorder.  This is a powerful recorder, especially if you are using the onboard microphone modules.

 

 

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Douglas A. Boyd

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